The month of February has a lot going on in the sports world. While our cover men enjoy their recent Super Bowl win, a number of people are focused on the NBA's All Star Weekend, which takes place this month in Charlotte. Just like fans enjoy attending this game, a number of your favorite NBA athletes enjoy this celebration of basketball. We took a few minutes to chat with Al Horford, the 5X All Star for the Boston Celtics to find out how he fell in love with the game, what All Star Weekend means to the sport and any midseason info he can provide on how his team is doing!
ATHLEISURE MAG: So recently Steve Kerr, the head coach of the Golden State Warriors, called you the perfect modern day center that is the hub of the Celtics. How would you describe your roll on the team?
AL HORFORD: I think my role on my team is to make sure that defensively, I am bringing energy, that I’m a presence on defense and rebounding. On offense, that I do whatever the team needs me to do in terms of scoring, passing, setting screens and things like that. Just making sure that I am playing with high energy and a lot of pace.
AM: Nice so, you’re all about balance and performance in terms of recovery and nutrition, what’s your day like heading into a game and your day of activities. Then what do you do after the games?
AH: Usually before the games, I’m trying to get a lot of fruits, vegetables, proteins and just having a very balanced diet. Then after the games, and this may surprise a lot of people, but my go-to drink is chocolate milk. Chocolate milk has everything that I need to recover. It has the carbs, the proteins, the electrolytes and all the good stuff that I need to feel at my best the next day.
AM: Interesting, as the newest athlete/partner with the Built with Chocolate Milk Campaign, what does this campaign look like?
AH: Obviously, it’s encouraging a healthy lifestyle, that for me really focuses on my recovery as an athlete, a person that just worked out and trained. Chocolate milk is a great source to drink after you finish your workout and the best thing about it is that it is backed by science.
AM: With All Star Weekend taking place this weekend, what is it about this weekend that is exciting as a player, whether you’re participating as a player or just to be there to support the love of your teammates?
AH: It’s just a great celebration to be able to go there in the same building with all of these great players. There are a lot of former players that also join in. A lot of NBA legends and all that and you’re able to see all these people and everyone celebrating basketball. You have the dunk contest, the 3 Point contest, the actual game. It’s just a great time for families and it’s great for the fans to just go out there and enjoy that weekend. There is just so much out there going on. Anytime that I have gone out there and had the chance to do it, I have always felt very lucky and fortunate.
AM: Well obviously you’re on the road quite a bit. So what are your 3 must have items that you like to take with you on the road?
AH: Well that’s a good question. My three must have items is my Bible, my iPad and my headphones. Those three things are definitely always with me.
AM: Well we know that you mom is a sports journalist and is one of your biggest fans, what did she instill in you that helped you to navigate this sport?
AH: My mom is very passionate as a Hispanic/Dominican mother she is always very passionate. She’s always instilled this in me and my dad actually played professional basketball. So my interest came because of that, but if it wasn’t for my mom and her enthusiasm and energy, I don’t think that I would be in this position. She has always been so encouraging and so upbeat to be the very best that I can be.
AM: We’re all about tribes, people that connect to you and also build you up here at #TRIB3GOALS, who are 3 people that you would identify with that are your go to people as inspirations for your career?
AH: That would definitely be my mom who has built me up in that sense, and also I have been fortunate to have great coaches around me growing up. My college coach is actually the head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder right now is another person, Billy Donovan that has always encouraged me. I’d also say my grandfather, he is one of my biggest supporters and growing up he has always been there to give me confidence.
AM: Are there any midseason predictions that you can share with us about yourself, team, your goals etc?
AH: Yeah I think that in the midseason, a team is starting to really understand how we need to play to be that great team that all our friends want and expect us to. I think that we’re playing much better basketball. The key for us is that we get all players healthy at the same time and that we play consistently at that high level. The playoffs are around the corner and it’s the time that you look forward to to be a part of that!